#02038
Mary And The Seal (Bill Gallaher)

On the west coast of Scotland on the Isle of Tyree,
Lived a young girl named Mary, not more than sixteen;
She was the pride of her father, the light in his eye,
Together they cast out his nets in the tide.
And each day that summer when the fishing was done,
She'd say to her father, "I need time alone."
And she'd sail in his dory to an isle near Tyree,
And return when the moon shimmered on the dark sea.

Oh, the sea it rolls out then it rolls in,
It beckons to lost souls who call out to them;
And the ebb and flow of the sea's rolling tide,
Gives and then steals away a fisherman's pride.

Then one day when Mary had sailed off alone,
Her father grew anxious to know where she'd gone;
So he rowed out to see what the island might yield,
And there saw his daughter at play with the seals.
"Ah, Mary, I've lost you," he cried in his heart,
"Though I knew that some day we'd soon have to part;
I fear you're enchanted and claimed by the sea,
I fear that you're lost now for all time for me."

Oh, the sea it rolls out then it rolls in,
It beckons to lost souls who call out to them;
And the ebb and flow of the sea's rolling tide,
Gives and then steals away a fisherman's pride.

The next day her father sent Mary to town,
And while she was gone away, he took his gun down;
And he sailed in the dory to the isle near Tyree,
And there shot the grey seal that swam in the sea.
That night when Mary returned home from town,
Her father then told her just what he had done;
"Oh, father," she cried, from the well of her soul,
"Your heart won't believe what your two eyes behold."

Oh, the sea it rolls out then it rolls in,
It beckons to lost souls who call out to them;
And the ebb and flow of the sea's rolling tide,
Gives and then steals away a fisherman's pride.

Then quickly she kissed her father good-bye,
And ran to the dory with tears in her eyes;
And she sailed to the island in the silvery moonlight,
And for all time was lost to her father that night.
But some say the grey seals that swim in the bay,
That ride on the low swells, took Mary away;
Well, each morning her father walks down by the shore,
Though he knows in his heart, she'll return never more.

Oh, the sea it rolls out then it rolls in,
It beckons to lost souls who call out to them;
And the ebb and flow of the sea's rolling tide,
Gives and then steals away a fisherman's pride.

Oh, the sea it rolls out then it rolls in,
It beckons to lost souls who call out to them;
And the ebb and flow of the sea's rolling tide,
Gives and then steals away a fisherman's pride.

####.... Bill Gallaher ©1991. Performing rights administered by SOCAN. All rights reserved ....####

Recorded by Bill Gallaher (Home To The Island, 1991; The Last Battle - The Best Of Bill Gallaher And John Galbraith, 1995).

Bill Gallaher notes: "A silkie song inspired by a story in Duncan Williamson's book Fireside Tales Of The Traveler Children. I was struck by the heartbreaking irony of the tale."

See more songs by Bill Gallaher.


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